Virginia’s Office of the Children’s Ombudsman Opens to Oversee Social Services

Virginia’s Office of the Children’s Ombudsman (OCO) officially launched Tuesday, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced. The office provides oversight of Virginia’s child welfare system and can receive complaints about the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS).

“I am excited that, after several months of preparation and with the support of the Administration and our partner agencies, information about the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman and the services we provide will finally be made publicly available to Virginians across the Commonwealth. My staff and I are looking forward to helping families navigate the child welfare system and ensuring that child safety and family preservation remain top priorities for our local and state agencies that serve Virginia’s children and families,” OCO Director Eric Reynolds said in an administration press release.

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Virginia Gov. Youngkin Launches Task Force to Address Lack of Safe Placements for Foster Care Children

Glenn Youngkin

Governor Glenn Youngkin launched the Safe and Sound Task force to create safe placements for children in foster care, and said that from February 1 through July 30 2021, 163 children spent at least one night in unsuitable arrangements such as local social services departments, hotels, and emergency rooms.

“It is unacceptable that last year over 150 children in foster care spent the night in places that just simply are not meant for kids. When this challenge came to our attention, my administration knew we had to act swiftly to ensure that every child has a safe place to belong,” Youngkin said in a Friday press release.

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